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February, 2011

Market Size and the Key Opportunity Segments

The Indian biotechnology sector is one of the fastest growing knowledge-based sectors in India and is expected to play a key role in shaping India's rapidly developing economy. With numerous comparative advantages in terms of research and development (R&D) facilities, knowledge, skills, and cost effectiveness, the biotechnology industry in India has immense potential to emerge as a global key player.

The biotechnology industry in India is likely to see a significant increase in the merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, according to research firm Grant Thornton. The Indian biotech industry has crossed the US$ 3 billion mark in 2010, witnessing a 23 per cent growth over the previous year. Of this, while the share of domestic firms stood at 47 per cent, exports accounted for 53 per cent of the overall revenues. India’s high-skill and low-cost advantage is said to have helped in gaining export contracts and clinical research bioservices.

The Indian biotech industry grew threefold in just five years to report revenues of US$ 3 billion in 2009-10, a rise of 17 per cent over the previous year, according to the eighth annual survey conducted by the Association of Biotechnology-Led Enterprises (ABLE) and a monthly journal, BioSpectrum, based on inputs from over 150 biotech companies.

The biopharma sector contributed nearly three-fifth to the industry's revenues at US$ 1.9 billion, a rise of 12 per cent, followed by bioservices at US$ 573 million and bioagri at US$ 420.4 million. The remaining revenue came from the bioindustrials US$ 122.5 million and bioinformatics US$ 50.2 million segments.

Biopharma and bioservices sectors contributed 63 per cent and 33 per cent, respectively, to the total biotech exports. The bioagriculture, bioindustrials and bioinformatics sectors remained focussed on domestic operations, bringing in nearly 90 per cent of their revenues from India.

While the industry, spanning bio-pharma and agri-biotech, accounted for US$ 3 billion, the equipment and ancillary segment contributed around US$ 1 billion.

Moreover, as per Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw who is also the chairman and managing director of Biocon, which has topped the list of biotech companies in India in the ABLE survey, India is looking forward to achieve US$ 5 billion in revenue this fiscal (2010-11).

India is also gaining importance as a clinical trial destination. According to a joint study by an industry body and Ernst and Young (E&Y) released in August 2009, the industry-sponsored Phase II, Phase III clinical trial sites in India have grown by 116 per cent during June 2008 and August 2009, with the country moving from rank 18 to 12 across the 60 most active countries.

India participates in 7 per cent of the global Phase III trials and 3.2 per cent in the Phase II trials with industry-sponsored trials having grown by 39 per cent CAGR during 2004-08.

According to a report by the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and YES Bank, the Indian biotechnology industry is estimated to witness a 20 per cent annual growth rate, to reach US$ 8 billion in 2015 from US$ 1 billion in 2005. The report forecasts that India will account for 3–5 per cent of the global biopharmaceutical market.